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Biden's crisis of competence

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Congressman Andrew Clyde published the following op-ed in the Washington Times on Wednesday. 

"There was obviously no plan bc there is no known military tactic of leaving our citizens behind in a place where our leadership now tells us had the potential to be overrun by terrorists without a large enough force to protect them." - Rep. Clyde

Below you can find the text of the Oped: 

The Biden-Harris Administration has failed at every turn since Inauguration Day. Their reckless policies have destabilized the world, undermined our national security, and led to record-high inflation. President Biden’s plan, or lack thereof for that matter, to withdraw from Afghanistan is the most glaring example of how he is unfit to lead our nation.

What has transpired over the last several days in Afghanistan has resulted in one of the worst humanitarian crises of my lifetime. We left our British allies at their embassy in Kabul behind and have seen a total collapse of foreign policy that will cost us our allies’ trust in our guarantees. We witnessed a negligent level of strategic planning by the administration that left behind thousands of American citizens, including women and children, not only in Kabul but also potentially elsewhere, as it is unknown whether we have people behind enemy checkpoints. We certainly know for sure there are Afghani allies and interpreters now in enemy territory.

There was obviously no plan because there is no known military tactic of leaving our citizens behind in a place where our leadership now tells us had the potential to be overrun by terrorists without a large enough force to protect them. The administration should have created a comprehensive strategy and presented it to Congress. From there, the administration should have regularly briefed Members of Congress on the developments unfolding in Afghanistan to ensure a solution that protected our citizens, allies, and innocent civilians in the country. Now, two days from the fall of Kabul, Members of Congress have been left to send demand letters for briefings and updates to an unresponsive and purposefully opaque White House. 

This is not our only great concern. We have 17 intelligence agencies, and it is currently unknown whether any of the ones working in Taliban concentrated areas had any knowledge that there was a coming attack. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees should be charged with a review as soon as possible because it appears we are losing the intelligence war as well. All intelligence agencies involved must explain to our committees why they could not assess that the Afghan military was unprepared to stand up without our support. If we cannot accurately assess the readiness of a military we have supported for 20 years, how do we know we can accurately assess the enemy or our own military readiness? If the intelligence communities conducted their work effectively and raised concerns with what was happening in Afghanistan, as has been reported, this Administration should be held accountable for its total failure of transparency with Congress and the American People.

Blame for this crisis falls squarely on the shoulders of Mr. Biden. There is hardly a Trump Administration policy Mr. Biden has left unspoiled. Still, he excused his decision-making on a deal he alleged his predecessor made while failing to mention that he removed the conditions and contingencies President Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo installed. Moreover, changing the date of the withdrawal allowed the Taliban more time to plan and prepare. Make no mistake, while the videos circling social media of Taliban members struggling on exercise equipment may add levity to a dark moment, these men are hardened warfighters led by intelligent strategists that know their homeland well. They waited until the moment they believed would be inevitable, when our leadership wasn’t prepared and wasn’t paying attention, and they struck. 

At his press conference, Mr. Biden should have taken questions. There is hardly any president in modern history that has failed to answer to the American People in such a crisis or who has taken so long to face them. The people of my home state of Georgia and the people of our nation deserve to know if their friends, family, and countrymen are being rescued

The Biden-Harris Administration’s failures are not constrained to the borders of Afghanistan. Retiring Customs and Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott made statements this week that an untold number of terrorists have crossed the border “…at a level, we have never seen before.” If correct, we need to know from Mr. Biden why he has not shut down and secured the border during such a national security threat. Congress should also demand answers to why he has ignored a Texas Federal Judge’s order to reinstate the “remain in Mexico policy.”

For four years, we heard that President Trump would start a war, but in the end, Mr. Biden has created a caliphate that will once again be a safe haven to those who chant “Death to America.” Now 20 years later from that fateful day of September 11th, our nation has given up more ground to the Taliban than it controlled in 2001. It is also reported that the Administration left $83 billion in modern conventional warfare equipment in their possession, making our country and the region less secure now than in decades.

As has been said by others, the President suffers from a crisis of competence. His administration has prioritized social experiments over military readiness, and it has put our nation and its people at risk. On Monday, our State Department demanded that the Taliban include women in their government. Not only is this out of touch and simply moronic if you understand who the Taliban are, as our State Department should, but it effectively set state policy that the United States recognizes the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. This is beyond foolish. As a three-time combat veteran of the Iraqi and Kuwaiti theaters, it is apparent to me that these are not serious people running our country, and we are in desperate need of leadership that places the American People first.

  • Congressman Andrew S. Clyde hails from Athens, GA, and serves Georgia’s Ninth District. He is a 28 year, three-time combat tour Navy veteran and a small business owner.

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Washington, DC Office 521 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-9893
Fax: (202) 226-1224
Gainesville District Office 210 Washington St NW, Suite 202
Gainesville, GA 30501
Phone: (470) 768-6520
Map of U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde's office locations